Last night I felt sick – not sick as in I ate something that disagreed with me sick, but sick as in gut-wrenching, humanity is cruel sick. I watched the film “The Boy in Striped Pajamas” and was struck once again by the horror that is possible in humanity, the power of propaganda, the love/innocence of children, and how all of it is a part of me. It is a powerful film, which I recommend you watching. There is no gore, but rather the director uses your imagination to explore the horror, especially as the story of the concentration camps is known to most. There is much in the film that I can relate to, much that I can see myself in, and that’s probably what makes it more sickening. The haunting nature of the holocaust and hatred of the Jews is not so much that it happened, but rather that I can recognise how it CAN happen, how it DOES happen, and how easily I could be drawn in – kind of like boiling a frog, raising the temperature slowly and you can succeed, throw the frog in boiling water and s/he will jump out. Oh how I wish it weren’t true, but it is.
The horror and haunting nature of the film is only increased when I realise that it goes on today – it is not something simply that happened in the past, but it goes on now, today, as you read this. Be that Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Congo, and many other places, the horror continues. Perhaps not in the form of an actual concentration camp, but the hatred of one people for another, it exists. We are trying to make a better world for our children…. that is a line in the film about why they were getting rid of the Jews. Are we trying to make a better world for our children? Who do we wish didn’t exist?
The past few days the Eastern Congo has been in the news again as the horror grows there. Thousands are displaced yet again as rebels march towards Goma and the UN peacekeepers stand by. Millions have died there over past few years, yet we stand by and watch it happen. Women and young girls are raped daily, but we stand by. Food is plentiful but not accessible for the local people, but we stand by.
Go watch the film, engage with the horror, and ask yourself what are you doing? How is the horror in you? Speak to your government and ask them what they are doing about the Congo, Somalia? Embrace your neighbour from a different race, culture, religion and learn from them.